Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Mario Bruno, Becchina and the Bucci painter

The public handover of antiquities linked Gianfranco Becchina and seized in Basel raise major issues over objects identified from Becchina's dossier of images. Among them is an Attic black-figured column-krater attributed to the Bucci painter. The Becchina dossier suggests that they had been handled by the dealer Mario Bruno of Lugano.

Bruno appears in The Medici Conspiracy (p. 154): '[one of two] competitors in trafficking archaeological material from Italy, both busy trying to buy the best objects that came to light'.

I have noted this krater before when it passed through Christie's in 2013 (for $37,500) as part of the dispersal of the Kluge collection. The present owner of the Bucci painter's krater is unstated.

The Bruno-Becchina link also appears in the statue in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (noted by Dr Christos Tsirogiannis).

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